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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 11, 2010 2:46pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

It's definitely that lead style of playing, as you put it, that typifies Phil's contribution. It's why I get so annoyed with people who talk about the Dead as if they were Garcia's backing band. Lesh wasn't an adjunct, he was a fucking equal partner.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 11, 2010 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

I assume MH in the core ?
How about the men on the ivories , excluding Pig ?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 11, 2010 3:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

No, not Hart in the core, much though I like Mickey and his work in and out of the Dead. The core were Garcia, Lesh, Weir and Kreutzmann. Remove any one of those four and you might still have a good band but it is incontrovertibly no longer the Grateful Dead. The keyboard players were like spices, subtly changing the flavour, but those guys were the main ingredients.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 11, 2010 8:18pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

I'd actually say the core is Garcia, Lesh and Weir. However much I value Bill, the fact is that, if he had been replaced, the basic sound wouldn't have changed all that much. Ditto the keyboard players and Hart (proven by experience).

That's not to take away from any of them at all, or what they brought to the band; and I'm open to being convinced otherwise on Bill. But I'm not sure that any drummer would have added enough distinctiveness to the sound to be absolutely irreplaceable without changing something core to the nature.

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-07-12 03:18:55

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 1:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

"Kreutzmann… had been blessed with an ability to find the beat and lock on to it; he was naturally smooth and in time, which made him irreplaceable. He was the center pole that allowed the rest of us to go roaming off the edges."
-Mickey Hart

Bill was one of the Fantastic Four. Seriously, can you imagine the Dead with just Mickey in the chair? Of course not.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 5:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

So what you're saying is that he was irreplaceable not because of a particular sound, but because of what he enabled the others to do. The "center pole." I've read comments from other band members to that effect, and I'm sure it's quite true, but if it's not so much about sound but about enabling the sound -- then yes, it's obviously crucial, but isn't it theoretically possible that another amazing drummer could have done the same thing while still leaving the Dead to sound like the Dead? (Not Mickey, but ... I dunno, maybe a Joe Russo type?)

That may be my own ignorance or inability to hear distinction in drumming -- I mean, I can tell Mickey vs. Billy in terms of their different contributions, but maybe I'm not all that attuned to "sound" in drums in the same way that sound is distinct for, ya know, guitars and singers. So I'm separating "key sound" from "anchor," and seeing "anchor" as theoretically replaceable (albeit with difficulty, I'm sure.) No disrespect at all to the Amazing BK ... just speculating.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 5:42am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

My contention, and like I say I've droned on about it before here, so I'll keep it brief, is that Kreutzmann, Garcia, Lesh and Weir were the four irreducible ingredients that made the Grateful Dead what it was. They were all playing off each other, each one of them enabling the other three to do what they did. It's a gestalt - the whole is more than the sum of its parts. You can get yourself a damn good band with just one, two or three of these guys in it but without all four it can never be the Grateful Dead. Keyboard players came and went, Hart went and came back and through it all it was still the Grateful Dead - until Garcia died. Then it couldn't be the Grateful Dead again. And not just because it was Garcia - it would have been the same if it had been any of the other four.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 12, 2010 6:38am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Are you not , chasing your own logic ' tail ' here AR ? There is no " key sound " , without an " anchor " . They all played around the ' one ' . Musicians here will have to come in w/ the theory part , but who laid down the rhythm so they all could play around the ' one ' ? BK was foundational .

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 9:50am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Granted BK was foundational. But the question really is:
what do you think would actually have happened if he had left the band for some reason?

We know what happened with the keyboard players: the Dead continued, with a change in the "spice mix" (even though at one point Pigpen was undoubtedly considered crucial). We know what happened when Mickey left.

We agree that it's not really possible (if you have ears) to envision the Dead sound minus Jerry, Phil or Bob. You can get a great band (JGB, Furthur, Phil and Friends) but it's not the Dead per se because there's a crucial change in the sound.

So, to continue to beat the theoretical issue here (whap whap), what DO you think would have happened minus BK? Complete collapse? I mean, I know they floundered a bit when they couldn't hear the one, and that BK was the reliable rock on that. But would it have been literally impossible to find another drummer to provide "the one" -- as thoroughly impossible as it would have been to find someone to provide what Phil, Jerry or Bob did?

I guess my speculation would be that it wouldn't have been impossible, and they'd have kept on trucking, changed but not devastated. But again, that might be my own lack of ability to fully hear what BK was doing, or the fact that I'm not a musician ...

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 10:21am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Yes, yes, yes, they'd have carried on, they'd even have kept playing the old tunes,but they would not be the Grateful Dead. They'd be The Other Ones, The Dead, Furthur, whatever, but they'd know and we'd know that, minus Bill (Phil/Bob/Jerry, they would never be the Grateful Dead again.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 1:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Ummm ... I disagree.

Yes! No! Yes! No!

Ok, I think we've got that solved now. I promise to listen more carefully to the drumming and see if my mind changes. But as of today, I STILL SAY ...

Btw, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 3:02pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Depends. Do you believe in angels?


'There are things you can replace and others you can not.'

Was it seriously still the Who without Moon, or Zep without Bonzo, whatever they decided to do to keep the money coming in?

'The time has come to weigh these things.'

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 3:45pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

So you believe that truth is conditional: that angels only dance if you believe in angels. If there's an absolute truth, belief doesn't matter. The angels either dance or not, depending on whether they exist objectively. But since you posited belief as the thing upon which this all depends, then you can't argue for a Core Four, because you believe that truth is subjective, so my belief is equally valid as long as I truly believe it.

That means I win. Hah.




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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 4:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Not so fast, padawan.

The answer is either 0 or infinity. If there are no angels, no angels dance. If there are angels then, angels being unconstrained by our physics, they may dance unconfined in numbers as they please. But angels are unprovable and have no objective existence. I have never seen an angel, and nor, I would guess, have you.

However, I have seen and heard, as have you, the Grateful Dead's fantastic four. I can draw inferences and make assumptions based on these very real individuals. You may look and listen and make different assumptions. But it doesn't make you right. I could truly believe that the world sits on the back of a giant turtle but chances are it isn't - even if I close my eyes and wish really hard.


You know, with you and the Blessed Tell rampaging around the place with your damned challenging attitudes my life isn't easy!
:-)

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 4:41pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

The world does sit on the back of a giant turtle. Haven't you read Terry Pratchett?

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Jul 11, 2010 10:36pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

The Amazing Billy K. is irreplaceable , on every level . Who could do '72 - '74 GD ?
No one else survived the the whole deal ( MH ) , dancing in the pocket , like BK .

edit - AR , please consider this masterpiece . BK reignites Bird Song , and launched that band into the sun .

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-08-27.sbd.latvala-eaton-lutch-dankseed.4682.shnf



This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-07-12 05:36:40

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Jul 12, 2010 5:44am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

>It's definitely that lead style of playing, as you put it, that typifies Phil's contribution.>

I've often read it referred to as "lead style of playing," but I think of it more as a commentary or a conversation. To some extent that's what Jerry does, too, actually. When he's "noodling," he's elaborating on the main themes. So in that sense, Phil is also doing a "lead." But I find the conversation/reflection aspect interesting, which is why I like to hear everything together. So I like the energy of AUDs, but would probably go with SBDs if I could, cuz that's where you really hear everything better.

And anyone who says the others were Jerry's backup band doesn't have ears. Or they're responding to the stereotyped image of Jerry as Guru without really paying attention.

This post was modified by AltheaRose on 2010-07-12 12:44:00

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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 12, 2010 6:26am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

Agree wholeheartedly with Rob - not the GD without Phil. He was instrumental to their improvisational style and led the charge (with Garcia) into the unknown realms and atonal sounds by virtue of his extensive music training. He was, and still is, the rock solid foundation of the sound. He'd be the first to say he had a bad night here and there, but I would challenge anyone to point out a "bad" Phil show - those are much more rare than a "good" Phil show.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Jul 12, 2010 5:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Shows with good Phil

"And anyone who says the others were Jerry's backup band doesn't have ears."

Thank you, Althea. I couldn't agree more. Also with your point about Lesh and Garcia 'conversing' onstage. (And let's not forget Bob and Bill joining in too!)

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